Solo traveling is amazing because you’re in total control of your itinerary, you have “me time” with your thoughts, you get to learn more about yourself, the list goes on. But, sometimes when you’re staring at a breathtaking sight, you wish you could just look over at someone and be able to bond over the excitement you’re both feeling at that precise moment. Good news is, you can.
The fear of being alone for the entirety of a trip is one of the top reasons people seem to avoid solo travel. If you're one of these people – stop!
Book your flight now and go, because you won’t be lonely if you don’t want to. There are a ridiculous number of ways you can make friends while solo traveling. Listing them all would take longer than getting through airport security during Christmas – so we’ll start with one.
The Internet: Your Friend-Making Weapon
The internet is your friend. The internet can also make you friends. If people can find their soulmates on Tinder, surely you have a good chance at making a friend online. After all, you’re not reaching out to someone you don’t know anything about – you’re starting a conversation with a person who is equally (if not more) obsessed about travel as you are.
My first encounter with this modern friendship tactic was Twitter. When I was a few weeks away from moving out of LA and starting a new life in Sydney, I was researching everything and anything to do with the move. I eventually searched #movingtosydney on Twitter where I saw a girl from NY was doing the same thing. At this point I didn’t even think about it being weird or not, I just followed her, tweeted her, she responded, and we eventually took our convo to direct messages. I was so excited that I could talk to someone who was going through the same emotions I was. We started sharing our stories, met up in Sydney, and the rest is history.
Try Facebook Groups
From there, I was slowly introduced to Facebook groups where there are hundreds of thousands of people looking for travel advice, giving travel tips, and yes, searching for travel buddies.
My two main groups at the moment are Girls Love Travel and Sydney Expat Americans.
The Girls Love Travel Group has helped me tremendously. These girls will help you with anything travel related. Join, and you’ll have an army of knowledgeable girls from all over the world giving you real thought-out genuine advice. Here, you can also make a post asking if someone from the group will be traveling in the same area as you, just list your dates and see who replies!
Sydney Expat Americans has managed to bring America to me. This group often throws events to celebrate American traditions/holidays like Super Bowl Sunday or the 4th July that help ease homesick feelings and give you the opportunity to make new friends!
With a little research, you can easily find groups like these tailored to you and your location. If you have a short trip, join the groups at least a few weeks before your travel date. Before heading off to Tasmania, I started talking to people who were taking mini-road trips from Hobart trying to spot the Aurora Australis, which has been on my bucket list for a while. We didn’t get to spot it because of bad luck with weather/timing, but it DID spark conversations with fellow travelers.
Off you go! Like most things in life, if you want it, you have to chase it. You might be in luck and people will approach you, but if they don’t, don’t sulk in the corner of your hostel or hotel room. Go out there (into the real or virtual world) and find your next travel buddy.